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tv   Alex Witt Reports  MSNBC  August 22, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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a very good day to you from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. welcome, everyone, to alex witt reports. here's what's happening. we begin with the breaking news as we track tropical storm henri. the national weather service
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just putting out a new update this hour. bill karins will break it down in a few minutes. meantime, a live look at rhode island. where henri made landfall around 12:00 p.m. it's near westerly. the storm's maximum sustained winds reached 60 miles an hour at landfall. let's now get to a live look at our roving camera. that one has been driving through connecticut. we're going to move there now. it is near the rhode island border. while connecticut was spared from a direct hit, the governor in the last hour stressing we need to take the impact of this storm seriously. >> don't get complacent. as i said before, sandy, those were not hurricanes either. because the terrain is so wet, you do have, just a 40, 50 gusts. knocks over trees and that's why we're watching the power outage
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situation so carefully. >> and to give you a live look from the earth cam, we're looking at montauk, new york. the storm is causing threatening conditions. it has brought with it dangerous storm surge, strong winds, also some flooding rainfall. and in washington, the president will be speaking later on this afternoon with an update on how his administration is responding to henri. president biden now approved emergency declarations for connecticut and rhode island. we go first to nbc's kathy park in rhode island near where the storm made landfall. how are conditions there now? you had to batten down the hatches earlier. >> well, the winds are still fierce out here. pretty intense, but i can say the conditions have taken another turn. i think the last time we spoke, there was some sun out here, but the clouds have come through and
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i can feel the temperature has always taken a dip as well. but the wind seems to be the big headline out where we are. kind of want to show you what we're seeing on the waters right now. the waves are still pretty intense. they're choppy and very high and kind of washing ashore, but nothing like what we saw in the 12:00 hour when some of that water, the waves were crashing over the wall. this is ocean road that you're looking at right below us. this is closed to traffic but you can see a lot of folks are out now. most of these folks are locals. residents here. we had a chance to talk to a couple of them. i asked them have they surveyed the damage? what's it like where they are? they said it's not too bad. some people have lost power. at last check at 1:00 hour, about 80,000 people in rhode island do not have power right now and the concern moving forward is that that number is going to only go up. and we're actually one of those folks who are in the dark right
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now. so hopefully we'll get that power soon. once again, conditions still gusty. the temperature seems to have dropped, but of course we'll be monitoring everything here on the ground. >> for which we thank you throughout this entire day, kathy park. appreciate that. the national weather service just putting out it latest update. it says henri has slowed down over southwest rhode island. hey, bill, what does this mean for the region overall? what's the forecast? >> it means we can relax on some avenues. they just canceled the storm surge warning for all areas. so we're no longer concerned about that. we talked about that last hour. we haven't seen a lot of social media video. i showed you pictures here of really bad storm surge flooding. it's because it hit when we were going towards low tide. there's a lot of clouds, thunderstorms in the area. torrential rain is the issue.
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winds maximum at 50. to get tree damage, you have to be at about 40 miles per hour. if you had told me we were going to get a tropical storm, pretty strong tropical storm landfall in new england and only have 120,000 people without power, i would have laughed because that's a really low number for the densely populated area of this country, but the storm just weakened so quickly and never had that strong of winds so it really saved them. you can see on the radar there's heavy rain around hartford into southern massachusetts and we have that pesky heavy rain band over areas of western long island into the bronx, brooklyn, queens and now it's in northern new jersey. we still have tropical storm warnings out there. we could get an occasion that will gust of tropical storm force, but not a lot. notice chester, connecticut. long island, the 20 range. we're not going to deal with much tree damage with the winds. so the latest advisory, 50 miles per hour. it has slowed down to about 9
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miles per hour. now as it slows down, we'll start to see those heavy rain bands and by 8:00 p.m., it's in western portions of massachusetts then tomorrow morning, a little bend towards the right. very weak, but still raining in areas of central new england. new flash flood warning out in hartford. 36 million people are at risk due to flash flooding through this evening. our computers are still highlighting the catskills for about 2 to 4 inches of rainfall in addition to what you've already received. if we're going to see the heavy rain problems, it will probably be from the hudson valley of new york. >> thank you. we'll keep a close watch on that. let's bring in fema administrator. i know it's been awfully busy for you, but as you look at where the storm is now, let's talk about what you have seen and what your biggest concerns are moving forward. >> good afternoon, alex.
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as you just heard, we're starting to see the storm slow down and the winds haven't been as strong as they could have been. but this storm isn't over yet. we're still going to see a lot of rain come out of this and some of my biggest areas of concern are the inland areas that saw a lot of rain from tropical storm fred. they're already inundated and this rain on top of that could produce risky conditions. >> okay, what extent of damage is fema projecting? can you put any calculation on to that? >> we don't have those yet. we are seeing some power outage, not as many as we thought we might have seen. but again, with the continued rain that's going to go for the next 24 hours, we will see some additional damages inland. we're going to start to get assessments on the coastal areas today, but until the rain passes, we don't know what the full extent of the damages will be. >> so do you think it will be
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contained to just new york, connecticut, rhode island? do you have concerns still for massachusetts and how does that i guess pose any challenges, if there are some, dealing with different and multiple states? >> well, i think we're going to still see some rain threats in vermont and new hampshire as well so all of those, you know, we're watching all of them carefully. we've stayed in constant coordination with all of our state directors and we have close to 1,000 people deployed to the region ready to respond as needed. >> about how long does it take for people, i asked this earlier i might add, for people. i know it's always let's save people first, lives first, then help with property assessments then to help provide funds for rebuilding and the kinds of things they need to do repairs. how long typically can that money take for people to get what they need? those fema grants and the like? >> you know, it all depends on the extent of damage they have and the amount of help that they
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need. so with the emergency declaration that's already been put in place, that's going to help the local communities with their responses. if we do end up with a declaration that includes individual assistance for homeowners, then we'll work with them to get the right paperwork submitted. >> when we look at this year overall, i mean, we've seen so much crazy weather throughout the u.s. you have the droughts. you have the heat sparking fires. how alarming has this been in your esteem? how costly has it been? how costly will it be? >> we are continuing to see the effects of climate change. we are seeing more severe storms. more frequent, larger numbers of storms. and it's not going to end. climate change is the crisis of our century right now and we need to be prepared for that. we have put a lot of money, close to $5 billion, available for hazard mitigation, to help communities start to reduce the impacts from these events they might experience in the future.
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>> okay. fema administrator, i want to thank you considering how busy a day it is. massachusetts has dodged a direct hit. at least thus far, from tropical storm henri. but it's not out of the danger zone yet. as e we look at boston. let's go to kristen dahlgren who's been joining us throughout this day, from new bedford, massachusetts, where it's still as wet and rainy as it's been throughout the morning. it's been deteriorating it seems. give me a sense of where things stand now. >> we have a light midst coming down sideways. i think things are getting better. i want to show you how i can tell that. if you look out this way, off in the distance by that lighthouse, there's an opening from this harbor out into the open water.
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and that was closed earlier today. they had the harbor closed. it's safe enough now to open up the harbor. the ferries that go from here to nantucket to martha's vineyard still not running at this point, but we are hearing that perhaps later on today they would start running again and so the assessment is that things may be getting a little bit better even though we are still seeing some gusty winds and some light rain and obviously we're still seeing chop out there so they don't encourage anyone to go out. you know, you can see the fishing boats that we have here around us. those are all tied down very securely. they were ready for the storm and so a little bit of a sigh of relief that things weren't worse here. but nobody really getting out yet. we did hear some reports of some breaks of sunshine in the area to our west. so as we go through the day, this is the drier side of that storm and we are expecting it to continue to get better, alex.
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>> okay, i like the vantage point there from out over the ocean. what about governor charlie baker, who as you know, was telling residents there to brace for power outages, some for as long as three weeks. what do we know about the status on power outages? >> at last check in massachusetts, it was up over 13,000 people without power. from last hour when we spoke, it's almost doubled. so we are expecting those to increase as we go through the day and it's not just here along the coast. there are outages reported in worcester is seeing a lot as well. so you've got these areas that are really rain soaked after almost a record rainy summer. the ground is saturated. that means the root systems of trees not as secure in the ground and then you've got the winds coming through and taking tree branches and entire trees down on those powerlines so those numbers could continue to go up. could take a while for them to get everybody back up and
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running. >> that's exactly it. those soaks treed could fall down and take powerlines with them. kristen dahlgren, thank you so much. and new video to share that came into us just moments ago. those are the conditions on the eastern end of long island. pretty close to where the center of henri passed today. also there, ron allen, who's in montauk, new york for us. what are you feeling? lots of wind or has it pretty much passed? >> we're feeling some rain. some mist. the winds have kind of died down considerably and the feeling is that everything is just very, very soaked and that this rain might continue. there's a lot of clouds, thick clouds still out there and the feeling is that the winds were not as strong or as long as many people feared. remember, this was thought, long island was thought to be the bull's eye. there was concern about the first hurricane here in more than 30 years. well, that did not happen. but of course, tropical storms still cause a lot of damage and
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a lot of concern like sandy, irene, others. here, as we've been surveying the community, we're not seeing a lot of damage. we're not seeing a lot of power outages. a lot of people here are breathing a sigh of relief, frankly, that things could have been a lot worse here. but again, the governor and others are warning not to let down your guard just yet because there's still concern about flooding. particularly inland areas because the ground is so saturated. because all this rainwater has no place to go. you remember the incident in central park last night where they were trying to have this huge concert. 60,000 people to sort of mark the milestone in the fight against covid. that had to be canceled after thunder and lightening broke out and the ground was so soaked there. central park had more rain, more water in one day than it ever had. that's a good example there. i think that happens, it's been happening all across this region. but right now here in montauk, i
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can look out at the sea and it is calmer than it has been at any point during the day, but again, officials are saying just let's just see where this all goes. let's just not let down our guard just yet because again, there's still the concern about flooding. concern about saturated ground and the concern about just there might be some power outages, some trees coming down. so on and so forth, but it appears again that big sigh of relief. >> it pays to stay vigilant. let's move about 40 miles to the west of where ron is, west hampton beach on long island. so when i saw you last and i spoke about you later, i think it was to bill karins, it looked like you were getting a sand facial because of the winds there. now are things now? >> you know, alex, i was kind of frowning last hour. the smile's back on my face. things are a ton better.
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things have started to calm down. we're noticing a substantial difference. the raging sea is still a problem across this area. we are dealing with low tide and that's not going to really disturb this storm surge and as bill said, that's not really a concern right now. but some feisty waves that are making its way across this area. we still have closures across the west hampton area and we're dealing with some minor flooding across the roadways. it's been kind of sporadic up and down as these water levels continue to go up and down in this area. with the intermittent rain, it's causing some flooding, but it's it's receding pretty fast. no power outages to report in this area. i really want to mention, alex, as you heard from fema director, that we've had two tropical systems come across the
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northeast in less than seven days, okay, so we are talking about 9 inches of rain that fell across sectionings of the tristate yesterday and then you had fred, that was just a super soaker, across the east coast. this this has been pretty much a rare event and it looks like going in the forecast, some better news is that we're going to be going in a dry slot from hurricanes, but you know, the peak starts to happen as we go into mid september. >> yeah, so we have that to look forward to. thank you so much from west hampton beach. coming up next, a member of congress is going to level with us about how the situation in afghanistan is being handled. tide pods child-guard pack helps keep your laundry pacs in a safe place and your child safer. to close, twist until it clicks. tide pods child-guard packaging. seeing blood when you brush or floss can be a sign of early gum damage.
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breaking news from afghanistan. evacuations are proceeding in kabul in spite of rising tensions over a threat from isis k. the u.s. embassy is asking
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americans and visa holders to stay away from the airport until they have received a verified invitation to come to the airport. and after chaos at the airport turned deadly yesterday, things appear to be improving for those trying to leave. here's part of a report from stuart ramsey. >> it is calming than it was yesterday. it was hard yesterday, but much better today. as i said, the message has to get through to the people that if you don't do as your told, you don't just wait, there is no way they can process anyone. but it is pretty miserable in there. not much water. they've been in there for hours and days. all that time, you get the sense that this air operation, this relief operation, has a limit. there's a lot of talk as to whether it can be extended. a lot of that will have to do with what the taliban has to say. >> also new this hour, an nbc
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news exclusive report that local embassy staff in kabul are losing faith in u.s. evacuation efforts. this is coming from a state department diplomatic cable that was obtained by nbc news. one staff member saying it would be better to die under the taliban's bullet. that's a pretty stunning statement there. also new nbc polling shows 60% of americans are disapproving of the president's handling of afghanistan. 61% believe the war was not worth it. the president is expected to provide an update at 4:00 p.m. eastern today. joining me now, california congressman, ro khanna. congressman, before i even get to what you want to hear from the president today, that was a pretty stunning report from nbc news about the sense of tragedy, really, underway right now at the kabul airport. >> alex, there's no doubt that
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there have been heartbreaking stories, but if we take a step back, president biden made the right decision to end a 20-year war and withdraw. he's been right that we should have frankly withdrawn a long time ago. the administration, with our crew, have evacuated 30,000 people without a single american casualty. now, my heart breaks with some of the story. a 17-year-old soccer player who was clinging to the american plane and died as he was evacuating. obviously, we have to stay there until every american is out and we have to try to get as many vulnerable afghans out and i know that the administration is committed to doing that. >> i know there's a lot of finger pointing, a lot of blame, but where is the area that you think needs the most improvement? what can be done? instead of looking backwards right now and saying this was a
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mess, how do we do better going forward? >> i appreciate that, alex, because as americans, why don't we come together. there will be plenty of time to figure out what went wrong. that means making sure we are there even if we have to extend our time to the august 31st deadline until all americans who want to leave can leave. we have an obligation to get all of the americans out. second, we need to expedite the processing of visas. i am in a district that has 25,000 afghan americans. we've been inundated with questions. we're sending them to the state department. we still need to cut through some of that red tape so that interpreters and our allies are able to come here and we're resettling them here. any community in my district is a huge asset and for any american to imply that we shouldn't be taking afghani refugees is just ignorant. we have a moral obligation to have them here after being there for 20 years. >> i'm going to ask you about
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one specific incident relative to your office in a moment, but let me ask you about what you want to hear from the president at 4:00. do you think he ought to be prepared? will they be prepared to say this is going to go past august 31st? >> i do believe that the president is prepared to do that. the president has said that every american who wants to leave we will assist them to leave. what i want to hear is what are our plans for us to deal with the isis threat? jake sullivan accurately has said that's a very serious threat. we need to make sure that whatever american troops enforce is required to protect against the threat is there. so i hope the president will outline that strategy. then i think the president needs to reassure the american people that we will not rest until every american who wants to be evacuated is evacuated and that we will be making sure that our allies, the interpreters and other allies are able to evacuate the best we can.
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and the president also i think is forthright. he said, look, these are risky missions. withdrawals are never easy. i think he has been honest with the american people. >> let me ask you specifically about your office, which was contacted last week, trying to get help evacuating a family member of one of your constituents there from afghanistan. part of that story includes them being beaten by the taliban. tell us what happened. >> the surfani family, i'm very, very grateful. they're expected to arrive in our district tomorrow. our district staff did an exceptional job with the state department to get them on to the plane, but they were beaten getting to the airport and they sent us pictures about being beaten. so there is no sugar coating the risk that is there to americans. to green card holders. this family had an american citizen and a green card holder. there is obviously risk and i hope and expect that the president will articulate what
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our troops will do to aid americans getting to the airport because that is as dangerous as actually leaving kabul itself. >> what does that tell you if not only those taliban members that are on the ground, but the taliban leadership is allowing the beating of a u.s. citizen? what is that telling you? >> well, it's obviously outrageous, but the question is how much does the taliban have control over the people on the ground? my guess is that the taliban leadership is one thing in the commitments they're making, but then there's actually enforcing that in the place of chaos. that's why what's critical is the american troops have to be protecting people and i think escorting people to the airport. right now, we have to, i am not for withdrawal leaving americans behind. our troops are extraordinary. they are up to the challenge of evacuating americans and our allies and we have to stay there
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until we do that and i have confidence in our troops ability to do that. >> let me ask you a little bit of political news as we have the nine democratic house moderates relative to infrastructure. they're threatening to withhold their support for the budget resolution. they're demanding it be separated from the $1.2 trillion partisan package. they want to vote on that right now. what is your response to this and how do you see this playing out this week when the house tries to pass the budget resolution? do you think it will pass? >> i do, alex, but i do not understand what these nine members are up to. i mean, they are obstructing this president's agenda. this would be a slap in the face to the president. just moving forward with the negotiation. look, everyone has to compromise in congress. i won medicare for all. that's not in the bill. i want student loan forgiveness for working families. that's not in the bill. you know who's bill it is?
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president biden. last i understood, he won election as president. the democratic party needs to unify around him and anyone who votes now on this is sabotaging joe biden. >> one more thing i want to talk to you about, which is a report in politico that suggests multiple house democratic centrists have fielded calls from the dcc that they took as a warning because they would be cut off if they opposed the party's $3.5 trillion framework. this is according to two people familiar with the conversations. what is your reaction to that? shouldn't the dcc be threatening members? >> no, i don't think they ought to be threatening people. it's not how i do politics, but i just think what we should say is this president won election. this president represents the consensus of the democratic party. do you want this president to succeed? do you want our party to succeed? are you really going to vote against this president's core initiative? the progressives have compromised. they're willing to back joe
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biden's agenda. why aren't you? i think that force and the force of activists in our communities will ultimately persuade every democratic to vote yes. i just don't see how you can represent a democratic district and try to sabotage the president's agenda. >> appreciate that. new poll numbers reflecting public sentiment on afghanistan. on covid. also the biden administration. at least one aspect of the poll reaffirmed what we have known for a long time on afghanistan. for a long time on afghanistan ♪ ♪ and one we explore one that's been paved and one that's forever wild but freedom means you don't have to choose just one adventure ♪ ♪ you get both. introducing the all-new 3-row jeep grand cherokee l jeep. there's only one.
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a new poll shows a drop in president biden's approval rating. thus far that is down four points from april. let's go to josh at the white house for us with a breakdown of the numbers. it was a big poll. what else are we learning from it? >> let's start with afghanistan. this new nbc news poll showing
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that six in ten adults say that no, the war in afghanistan was not worth fighting, but then when you ask about president biden's handling afghanistan, the numbers are actually flipped. six in ten disapproving and only 25% of adults say that they're happy with the way president biden has handled afghanistan. this is really interesting because the white house has been so focused on this argument about why we had to get out of afghanistan and what a mistake it would have been to leave troops there. almost to the point it's felt like of trying to change the subject from the execution of the drawdown and the humanitarian catastrophe that we're all seeing play out. what this poll is showing you that yes, americans by and large agree with president biden that the war had to end, but that's not the same thing with how he's done it. in fact, clearly americans don't like what they're saying there. when we step back and look at president biden's overall approval rating falling below
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50% for the first time in his presidency, just 49% approve, which is down from 53% in april. now, some of that is afghanistan related in those heartbreaking images we've been seeing, but the president is also losing ground on some other areas. his approval of how he's handled coronavirus. now down to 53%. a huge drop of 16 percentage points just since april. and he's also slipping on the economy. just 47% give president biden the thumb's up on how he's handling the economic matters when just four months ago, 52% they approved. this was conducted august 14th through 17th. we won't have another presidential election for another three years or so, and all in all, a 49% approval rating historically isn't that bad. it's still higher than president trump's ever was even at his highest, but still, these declining confidence numbers are
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a worrying sign for congressional democrats as they are heading into the midterm elections next year with just the slimmest of majorities. >> when you look at the different topics that are discussed in these polls, i always wonder the extent to which you can really separate them out or sometimes there's just an overall malaise that kind of overwhelms on all fronts. so i always take those things and love to analyze them even further. but thank you for doing so from the white house lawn. back to the breaking news. tropical storm henri making landfall as we gave you a live look at montauk. long island was fortunately spared a direct strike, however, the slow-moving storm could still create a lot of problems. let's bring in executive steve malone. welcome to you. give me your sense. is it relief yet because henri isn't completely over yet. it's kind of parked over the region to some degree. >> we're still in the peak hours of the storm here so we're still
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seeing high winds, particularly out in the hamptons on the east end where we've had reports of flooding, torrential rain continues. out on fire island, we've had the atlantic ocean hitting those dunes. their holding right now. and we still have an astronomical high tide that we have to go through later today. so this is a storm that's going to be with us for a while but we're prepared for anything. we have crews deployed throughout the county. we have urban search and rescue teams that are deployed and even one that came as far away as buffalo down here, which i think is a good example of how we come together in times of crisis like this. >> it sure is. let me ask you about evacuation orders, steve. how did that go? to what extent do you think people did take off for higher ground? >> you know, we issued the voluntary evacuation order yesterday. had a lot of discussion with fire island officials.
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this storm really took us by surprise in many ways. every storm is different. normally when you have a storm like this coming up the coast, a lot of preparation, but it took a turn to the west a couple of days ago and really came on our radar. by the time that happened, it seemed to make sense to do that voluntary evacuation from fire island. we've been telling people that they could be facing dangerous, difficult circumstances over there. power outages. downed trees. downed powerlines. so for the most part, people did heed that order and people have responded well. there is a cautious sense of optimism that the storm did track east, that it is a tropical storm now. but this is not a time to take it for granted. we are going to be seeing impacts from this probably through the night into tomorrow morning. >> yeah, and steve, would that include the lirr? the long island railroad which i know canceled some trains. do you know if they are back and
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running, when they expect to be? >> we're waiting to see what the mta is going to be saying on that. i'm hopeful that if the trajectory continues here that by tomorrow morning during commuting times, we'll be able to be back on track. >> okay, steve malone, could to talk with you. have a good one. it seems unthinkable, the former president getting booed by a crowd of his supporters. what prompted that reaction, next. rs what prompted that reaction, next utritional drink you choose. try boost glucose control. it's clinically shown to help manage blood sugar levels and contains high quality protein to help manage hunger and support muscle health. try boost today. ♪ ♪ this bathroom is too cute! this one is too cool!
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tens of thousands of people in alabama gathering for donald trump's rally as the state struggles with a surge of new coronavirus cases. trump facing boos from his own supporters when trying to tell the crowd to get vaccinated. >> your freedoms, i do. you have to do what you have to do. i recommend take the vaccines. i did it. it's good. take the vaccines, that's okay. that's all right. you got your freedoms. but i happened to take the vaccine. if it doesn't work, you'll be the first to know. but you do have your freedoms. you have to keep, you have to maintain that. you have to maintain that. and you've got to get your kids back to school. >> joining me now is olivia choi. also a former top aide to former vice president mike pence. welcome, olivia. good to see you, my friend. let's get to your former position as a white house coronavirus task force member.
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so what is your reaction to the exchange we just played with donald trump? what he said? what he did? and the crowd reacting on getting vaccinated. i mean, look, he's telling people to get vaccinated, but could he have been more definitive doing so? >> i'm glad he mentioned the vaccine to begin with. >> 100%. >> that is a positive, but of course, donald trump can't do anything without flip-flopping within the same sentence. so he contradicts himself just whenever he speaks. i thought it was striking, the boos coming back at him. i did watch his speech last night, as painful as it was to watch it live, but i will say that watching that, i just kept thinking, those boos are what you created from day one from the way that you, from the divisiveness that you created on this pandemic. and that's your legacy and it's
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coming back to haunt you firsthand as he watches it. but clearly, he then backs away from it. he says it because he knows it's the right thing when you're holding a large superspreader event with maskless crowds in a state that's suffering from covid cases. it's completely reckless and shameless for him to hold that rally. two donald trumps. get a vaccine, but i'm also going to gather you, put your lives at risk, send you back into the communities and create further hardship for the healthcare and front line workers there who are already facing this firsthand once again in these ers and hospitals. >> yeah. i got to tell you, you're 100% right, it is definitely donald trump's legacy, but also the legacy of those front line workers of you and me. those of us who try to go about our daily lives and would love to take off our masks and would love to feel we could go around
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without the burden of constantly being reminded about covid. that is the legacy this country is having to bear until we all just pull together and say let's do this and do it together. it seems we're too divided. >> we are. and unfortunately we have still governors, right, at the forefront, who are continuing to create divisions and burdens with their antimask rhetoric and everything they're doing to push these executive orders. they're making it so much harder and you're seeing the arguments happen at schools. i mean, who are we as a country when we can't protect our children? and you create harder measures? parents are already overtaxed. they've just spent a year, you know, over a year, home schooling their children and going through this and now you're creating things that are even harder. i just heard from someone in texas who said i had to pull my child out of school and governor
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abbott just blocked them from doing online learning. she said i don't what to do now. my job is to protect my child. >> even those who have constantly said get the vaccine, i'm talking about president biden, he is grappling with a spike in new cases. t there's a new poll that finds that 53% of americans approve the way the president has handled coronavirus, but the bad news is that's a 16-point drop from april. what do you think is behind those numbers? how do you think the biden administration is handling this latest surge? >> i think they're doing the best they can, but you know, when you have so many things going against you, when you're trying to do the messaging and you have honestly, what we just talked about, governors who are doing everything they can to undermine you at every step of the way instead of approaching
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this as america together, i think it's going to wane in the public opinion. they're tired and worried about what's going to happen next. there's concerns, do you think we're going to be shut down? my business depends on it. we'll be hurt. i hear it from restaurant work workers. is my job stable? i think with all these things coming together, i can see what the public is concerned, why can't we just get past this pan together? you can't because you have this divisiveness that's going on. primarily in republican states. and these people travel and spread this and we're never going get there as long as people continue to behave in a reckless manner and follow what their leaders say, which is unfortunately what's happening right now. >> how much do you think, if the fda does offer as expected, full approval to the pfizer vaccine as soon as tomorrow, how will that change the equation? how much does that support vaccine mandates or at least change the minds of those who have been resistant to get the
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vaccine? >> i think that will go a long way, honestly. i think there are a lot of people there who think the vaccine was rushed. i know how hard the scientists were working. i know how important it was and i know how hard career scientists and people at the fda and everything went through the proper approvals on this. i know it was hard in the trump administration, but they stood strong and deserve the credit because we were successful. i think that will be very big push and i think people hopefully will feel more comfortable. as long as others don't continue to undermine this narrative. >> let's switch gears and go to the situation unfolding in afghanistan with donald trump addressing it last night. take a listen to what he said. >> vietnam looks like a master class in strategy compared to joe biden's catastrophe and it didn't have to happen. all he had to do was leave the soldiers there until everything's out.
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our citizens, our weapons, then you bomb the hell out of the bases. we have five bases. and we say bye bye. we say bye bye. >> repeating everything twice. that having been said, you served as homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to mike pence. so when you hear trump rail against biden's handling and suggest his allies would have presided over a perfect and orderly withdrawal over, what do you think the reality is? >> i think trump and pompeo own this just as much. they cut this deal with the taliban, which they had no business doing. they were advised not to do it and they went ahead with it. so when i hear him say these things, i look at the situation on the ground, but you know, i'm clear eyed on this. what is happening there and what has unfolded this week, it is heartbreaking and there many of
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us who are upset about how this is being carried out, but now, we have the military, who are doing their best. i'm so grateful for them because they're showing their humanitarian missions and everything they're doing to evacuate people out of the country and our u.s. allies. when i look at trump and i hear the rhetoric on it, there's a lot of rhetoric in his speech that mentioned the refugees, and then he refers to the flights that should have americans on them. that was not lost on me. i was thinking this is exactly the administration i knee and they're anti-imgranlt and anti-refugee rhetoric. they were part of it right next to us, serving next to us. you were right there, when your former boss wrote the op-said to "wall street journal," saying he broke our deal with the taliban, but it would seem, despite the things where he opposed certain aspects of trump policy, and you
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might be privy to that than necessarily the greater public, he still carries water for donald trump. what is that about? >> well, you know, i hate the fact he does, having worked for him, having been an intelligence officer on his staff. i know he disagreed, but he has greater aspirations, and this is part of the base he needs to carry on. i read that op-ed. i knew that he has a son in the military, i know it's very close to his heart, what's happening there, but there's one striking know he didn't make a plug for the refugees, because he knows how challenging it was, so it's really hard to figure that out and square that with how i know
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he has strong feelings on what was happens. olivia, i always appreciate your candor. come see me soon. there's no room at the hospital, if you get deathly ill. hospital, if you get deathly ill. (man) go on, girl, go on and get help! that's it, girl! [heartwarming music] (man) ah! (burke) smart dog. with farmers crashassist, our signal app can tell when you've been in a crash and can send help, if you want it. it's new and one of many farmers policy perks. also, our signal app could save you up to fifteen percent on your auto insurance. (man) that's really something! (burke) get a whole lot of something with farmers policy perks. [dog barks] (both) good girl! ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ ice t, stone cold calling on everyone
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proving once again that nobody builds networks like verizon. that's why we're building 5g right, that's why there's only one best network. new federal help is coming to relieve a swamped alabama hospital. healthcare workers across the state are feeling the strain of the virus, especially when there are no icu beds for other patients. gary grumbach joins us from birmingham. what are you hearing? are they seeing mostly unvax flated patients that come in with covid? >> reporter: hey there, alex, about 90% hospitalized are unvaccinated here in birmingham we're seeing all the people that have covid at this hospital actually have the delta variant, but the hospital officials
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statewide are looking at three things -- stuff, staff and space. right now they have the stuff. they have the ppe, enough ventilators, and certainly more than enough vaccine, but it's staff and the space. bets are being pulled from other uses. cancer patients, car accident victims, may not be able to get a bed as quickly. we're also seeing a high number of children in the hospital in alabama. we're seeing it across the country as well. but doctors and nurses say they're exhausted. i had a conversation with one covering patients in the icu. >> when you're in that moment, the overriding emotion that
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they're experiencing is one of fear. i don't get into the issues of red or not, it's not -- i don't find that it's helpful in me taking care of that patient at the moment. you do have a sense that they -- and they obvious will say, i wish i had done this, i wish i had gotten vaccinated. >> reporter: but that regret doesn't set in until it's too late. we're hearing time and time again. i was 45 minutes north of here at the trump rally, and people are saying they're tired of national figures telling them to get vaccinated. >> gary, appreciate the report. in just a few pictures, new pictures. henri hid landfall, and president biden will have a press conference. you can watch it right here. n w. [sfx: psst psst]
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happy news, we want to congratulate our torrie james. they tied the knot yesterday on long island. look at that. they beat tropical storm henri. they got that picture-perfect sunset for their beautiful wedding. best wishes to you both, and welcome to our extended family show of family here, r.j.
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congratulations. that will do it for me. i'll see you next saturday. my friend, yasmin vossoughian continues our coverage. here we go, everybody. we have a lot to coffee. good afternoon, by the way. i'm yasmin vossoughian. we have two major stories we're covering. tropical storm henri battering the northeast. we're going to take you will have to the hardest-hit areas. in about an hour from now, president biden will talk about the national response to henri, but also a developing situation in afghanistan. this happens as the president puts in place a new plans

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